International Women's Day - Empowering Women Ambassadors


This year, the theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights supported by the hashtag #EachforEqual.

The idea behind the hashtag #EachforEqual is that collectively each one of us can help to create a gender equal world, as creating an equal world is not only a women’s issue, but an issue for all. Collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender equal world is key.

Empowering women ambassadors
At MSM, the promotion of working towards gender equality in all our educational programs is a top priority. Gender equality discussions run throughout the curriculum. Extra-curricular activities such as a Women in Leadership panel discussion, or an International Women’s Day movie theme are also organized to create awareness through a more social, relaxed setting. But most importantly, MSM is proud of the gender ratio in its MBA and Master in Management classes, with both groups averaging over 40% females in the class which is above the global average of 36% according to the GMAC report Where are Women in Graduate Business School.

More importantly though is the fact that MSM strives to increase this ratio even more, by empowering women through financial support, by offering the Women Ambassador Scholarship. This scholarship targets motivated women, who in their own unique ways, are working towards gender equality, leadership positions as a woman, or taking on an `woman ambassador’ role to support other women to breakthrough in what remains a very male-dominated world. In order to get this scholarship, female candidates have to show proof that this is an important driving factor for them, and that they can take up leadership/mentor/inspirational positions by showing their leadership experiences and initiatives as a student and/or professional.

Current Master in Management student Ellaine Guevarra from the Philippines has built a clear view on leadership from her own experience: “A leadership journey begins with a small step of courage in facing challenges ahead. Each step is a learning process to improve and learn from the people that surround you. I have had many leadership experiences, which all go back to having the courage to step-up and take initiative. In these experiences, I have learned how to lead and work together rather than lead to be ahead. I believe in supporting people and enhancing our potential together.” – Collective action! Ellaine was awarded with the Women Ambassador Scholarship for the MSM Master in Management program.

Classmate Elizabeth Velazquez from Mexico also received the Women Ambassador Scholarship. Elizabeth has fulfilled a leading role in different areas in her career so far and learned a lot in this role: “My working experience allowed me to lead a team and this helped me to discover how to become a better leader and a better person.” Receiving the Women Ambassador Scholarship gave her the opportunity to join the MSM Master in Management program through which she wants to further strengthen her leadership skills:  “I have a background in Marketing and this scholarship provided me with the opportunity to come to the Master in Management. This master is helping with a complementary framework that can strengthen my skills with experienced and international experts. This will expand my perception and knowledge about management and leadership in the global context. I am eager to share new perspectives and experiences to boost achieving my dream.”

Inkatuuli Heikkinen from Finland is currently following the MSM Executive MBA supported by the Women Ambassador Scholarship. She is working as an executive for an international not-for-profit organization, in which she has the capacity to influence women around the world to make a difference. By following the MBA, she hopes to gain new skills that support her career goals and to inspire peers and other women: “I hope that my peers and other women think if she can do it, I can too”

Dreams for the future
These three women have a clear dream for their role as women ambassadors in the future, based solidly on what they believe in.

Inkatuuli would like to pursue a leadership role in an organization that creates value: “Value in the society as a whole, in addition to its shareholders. I believe the world is more interconnected than transactional only. I would like to encourage more women to pursue their dreams and stop preventing themselves from finding their dream career.”

Elizabeth wants to become a consultant for small and medium enterprises (SME) in her country Mexico: “SME’s have started to rise in number in Mexico and most of them have no idea how to get known or how to increase their sales. Therefore, it is an opportunity to design a marketing strategy and put my experience to work so SME’s in the long run can be a sustainable form of economy. I believe that empowering local companies is in itself a way to empower our society, our community and ultimately help in the development of my country.”

Ellaine’s dream is to start an organization that creates lasting impact towards investing in capacity building of people: “I believe that people have the potential to do great things and it can be maximized through skills training and workshops.”

A message to other women
Building on their own experience and lessons learned, Elizabeth, Ellaine and Inkatuuli have a powerful message to other women.

Elizabeth encourages women to have dreams: “First have dreams and later on do anything in your power to achieve these.”

Ellaine advises women not to underestimate themselves: “Never underestimate your capability to lead – there is no perfect leader, and each step is a learning process and a chance to become a better leader.”

Inkatuuli emphasizes that women should not be shy about their own capabilities: “Learn your worth, know your value and communicate it! We are sometimes shy of talking about achievements. Together we can bridge the pay and career gap.” – Collective action!

About the Women Ambassador Scholarship
The Women Ambassador Scholarship offered by MSM provides up to 50% discount on the tuition fee of MSM’s Master in Management program and MBA programs – Full-time MBA, Executive MBA and Online MBA. The scholarship is awarded to women who can show evidence in a two-page essay of proven leadership positions or achievements in their student or professional experience, and how the MSM Master in Management or MBA program will further help them with leadership goals in line with MSM’s values. 

#IWD #IWD2020 #EachforEqual